May 18, 2014; St. Louis, MO, USA; Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Gavin Floyd (32) throws the ball against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium. The Braves won 6-5. Mandatory Credit: Scott Kane-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta Braves at Boston Red Sox preview: Gavin Floyd looking for win No. 1

UPDATE: The Braves have elected to give their newest addition, Tommy La Stella, his first professional start on Wednesday night, as he will play second base and bat in the seventh spot against Boston.

After losing back-to-back home games against the Boston Red Sox in Turner Field, the Atlanta Braves are headed up to Fenway to play the second half of their series with Boston. If everything goes according to plan, Atlanta will be able to split the series and continue start to build on their NL East lead.

On the mound in game three will be Gavin Floyd for the Bravos and John Lackey for the Red Sox. In addition to seeing if Floyd can pick up his first win of the season, it will be interesting to see if shortstop Andrelton Simmons takes the field today after coming out of yesterday’s game due to right ankle inflammation. Simmons is one of the team’s most valuable position players, and getting him back at 100 percent is crucial for the team’s success going forward.

Now let’s jump into the pitching matchups:

John Lackey: Lackey is 5-3 on the year for the Red Sox and is putting up solid numbers all-around. He’s got a 3.58 ERA, 3.28 FIP and 3.30 xFIP to go along with above average strikeout and walk rates. At the moment he’s fanning 8.13 batters per nine innings (compared to a career number of 7.12) and walking just 1.93 per nine (compared to 2.63 for his career). His groundball, left on base, and home run rates are all pretty close to his career numbers this season.

Gavin Floyd: Floyd has pitched extremely well for the Braves this season, but still hasn’t got the run support to back anything up yet. He’s 0-1 on the year despite having four solid outings. His worst game is a 6.1 inning effort where he gave up three earned runs to the Giants back on May 12. In that game, he struck out eight batters and walked none. He’s posting a 2.49 ERA, 3.01 FIP and 3.01 xFIP. I’ve said this before: Gavin Floyd isn’t going to pitch like this the entire year. The Braves need to stop wasting these excellent outings he’s having and take the wins he is offering.

Here are the particulars for tonight:

Date: May 28, 2014

Start Time: 7:10 PM

TV Channel: NESN, SportSouth (Local in the South)

Radio: 680 AM/106.7 FM (Local in Atlanta), Full list of Local Affiliates

Live Stream: (Click Here, $)

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Tags: Atlanta Braves Gavin Floyd

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